Coming Home: An open letter to black gays and lesbians
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Is there a longing in your heart to come home? Has your struggle with sexuality kept you from the relational blessings of God? If so, it's time for a change. As your brothers and sisters who have had like experiences dealing with sexuality, we are offering you our help to make it back to that place where you used to be with God. Or if you have never experienced the joy of knowing Him, we invite you to read on.
Gospel music pioneer Andrae Crouch sang a song many of us heard growing up. Do you remember it?
"Take me back, Take me back Dear Lord, to the place where I first received you."
We're alike, we're different
Perhaps more than anyone else, we understand the pain that you may have suffered at the hands of people who said they represented God, but failed to give you the compassion, love and acceptance you needed to overcome the wounding in your heart. We know how it feels to sit in churches where you are the object of ridicule and scorn. We can identify with the intense struggle not to give in to something your heart knows is wrong, but your body feels is right. We take this opportunity to call on every African American church to stop contributing to the anguish and suffering of sexually confused black men and women and begin promoting healing through the ministry of reconciliation.
Yet the church and its oftimes wayward characterizations of gays and lesbians are not your only problem. In your own community many of the new HIV infections are in men of color. Hundreds more are dying silently of AIDS as a result of shame, guilt and self-embraced ignorance. Far too many of those men continue to have condomless sex without disclosing the fact that they are infected. Sex parties and pornography exploit the loneliness many same-sex attracted individuals experience. While white gays continue to make advances politically, financially and educationally, black gays struggle for basic equality in the gay community. Unfortunately, white gay racism and elitism continues to grow. On top of all of this are substance abuses and sexual fetishes which reduce the quality of life.
For financial gain, some misguided therapists have spread falsehoods about "sexual orientation." To date, there has been no credible scientific or biological causation for sexual orientation. Studies conducted by individuals with a predisposed agenda have been proven many times over to be false. We believe this is a primary source of the suffering of same-sex attracted people. Lies delay healing but truth brings freedom. Accepting a lie keeps you in rebellion. In a rebellious state there can be no peace with God. If you truly want to save your lives, don't take it into your own hands, submit yourself to God.
It's a journey many of us as former gays and lesbians have had to walk through. That's why we are making a special effort to reach out to you who may not have heard that the choice to change is still available to you. Please understand that the challenges facing you are not entirely caused by "homophobia" and hate. And please know that the way to escape those problems is not necessarily by "coming out."
We know that the hype surrounding homosexuality is at a breaking point. Both sides have become polarized and extremes have formed. Accusations, unfair portrayals and stubborn anger has kept too many men and women from getting back home. It's time for a change. You deserve a better life and you can have it.
Coming home means coming out
We have to let you know that getting home won't be easy. Despite what you may have heard about "instant deliverance" and "miraculous breakthroughs" we've discovered that God is a Father who purposely teaches His children through process. Coming back to Him regardless of how many years you have been "in the wilderness" of homosexual living will require committment and endurance. Coming out of homosexuality may be one of the most difficult things you have ever done, but difficult is not synonymous with impossible. God specializes in things which man thinks are impossible.
Our ministries to the sexually broken are a simply a labor of love. Therefore, our letter makes no specific political or denominational claims. It seeks no financial gains, but is birthed out of a heartfelt desitre to show you a better way to live.
For those who would reject our invitations to find peace, we say that you have a human right to be gay or lesbian. If that's your choice then we accept that. But we want you to know that you have a greater spiritual right to be free. The choice is yours. Please don't stand in the way of those who no longer want to see themselves as gay or lesbian. Don't take away their choice to change.
We also understand and acknowledge that the term "exgay" may be misleading. It's not our intention to pretend that we are completely healed or that all of our past dysfunctions have evaporated into thin air. Yet, while the term "exgay" does not adequately convey the process of change that we are going through, our living, thinking and desires have undergone drastic transformation.
Booker T. Washington said, "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." We can testify that we are new creations in Christ, we are no longer slaves to our former passions. We no longer desire to live or identify as gay, lesbian, same gender loving or anything which calls attention to bodily passions. Rather we have a new identity in Christ and our future and hope is secure in that identity.
If you choose to, coming out of homosexuality will mean:
- Submission to Christ's authority
- Dealing with the roots of your sexuality issues
- Being honest and accountable for your actions
- Having a heart that is willing to acknowledge when you're wrong and then repenting
- Accepting the grace of God as sufficiency for your sins
- Planting yourself in a fellowship which embraces a balanced approach to overcoming
In short, the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality but holiness (emotional, sexual and spiritual living which is pure and whole). That's the goal. That's the mark. And that's our passion.
"I feel that I'm so far from you Lord, yet I hear you calling me."
He is calling you. You've heard him while dancing at the club. You've heard him in the quiet of your home. Perhaps in the midst of doing what you've become sick of doing, you've heard Him calling you to come home. We're here to let you know that coming home is only a prayer away. We don't have all the answers, but we do have the most important one: God's loves you unconditionally.
Haven't you felt that feeling stirring inside you? It's the Holy Spirit urging you to answer God. We too, have been at that place where things and people could no longer satisfy. Not another lover. Not another drink. Not another club. Not another affirming seminar. Not another pride parade. Not another house party. It left us feeling empty, cold and just as rejected as the day we first assumed our gay identities.
If you are "same gender loving", we respectfully believe that's not God's will for you. We feel that loving someone of the same gender produces nothing fruitful or life-giving. It reflects nothing in creation, life or God's natural order and holds no possibility of continuation. God's will is that you grow, prosper and produce the fruit of right relationships. Many gays have attempted to reach these goals by alternative efforts but realbut real life should be lived with real results.
The co-signers of this letter, comprised of former homosexuals and those others who support our mission are united in our desire to present such opportunities for change. Please contact someone at one of the resources listed below and let them know you're ready to come home. We'll leave the light on for you.
In the love of Christ,